“How was your day, babe?” he nuzzled his nose in my neck “I missed you” he sighs pulling away and I tilted my head to give him a kiss.
“It was good, thank you” I mumbled against his lips. “Yours?”
“Good. I wish we could spend more time together though” I pulled away from his embrace and turned to face him.
“I know,” I sighed “but between school and my over protective family it’s hard for me” I rested my head against his chest.
“I get school, Rosalie, but I don’t understand how your family gets in the way of us seeing each other”
“I already told you, Chris, they’re super protective and possessive. They’d freak out if they knew I was with you”
“It’s fine to be protective but don’t they want you happy? I mean you’re twenty-one, they can’t honestly think you don’t have a boyfriend or at least an interest in someone”
“That’s not how it works in my family” I mumble.
“Then let me meet them”
“What?” I took a step back.
“Let me meet them,” he cups my face “let me tell them how much you mean to me, that I would do anything to make you happy” he smiled before dipping his head and capturing my lips with his. “I think I’m falling for you, Rosalie” he whispered.
“Really?” I smiled, winding my arms around his waist to keep him close.
“Yeah” he sighed smiling, while he rested his forehead on mine.
“I think I’m-” I began to whisper.
“Rosalie!” Like being burned I jumped away from Chris and looked behind him.
“Oh shit! Shit!” I bit my lip.
“What the hell are you doing?” Lorenzo took a hold of my arm and yanked me further away from Chris.
“I, um, Lorenzo, I” I stuttered like a fool.
“I’m Chris” he offered his hand to Lorenzo. Lorenzo looked at his hand in disgust then looked up at Chris in rage.
“And?” he sneered pushing me behind him.
“Listen man, I care about her, I really care about her” he looked at me with soft eyes “Just hear us out” he tried looking back at my enraged cousin.
“Rosalie, explain” he spoke not breaking eye contact with Chris.
Clearing my throat I decided to let the truth out, it was better than covering it up and being caught in a lie. “Chris is my boyfriend, Lorenzo. We’ve been seeing each other for the last six months and I love him” I looked at Chris when I said those words.
“I love you too, baby” he smiled widely.
“Back the fuck up guy” Lorenzo hissed.
“Lorenzo please, I want to be with him” I begged.
“So why didn’t you go about it the right way?” he asked “Why didn’t you tell the family first so that we could give you our blessing?” Lorenzo knew the whole blessing bit was crap. It was code for background check, and not just any background check, they would go as far as finding out what color your shit was at the age of one. Background checks were never in our favor, they find one tiny thing they didn’t like and that was it, no discussion, no explanation. You did what the family asked of you. To deny them was like going against God.
“I’m sorry, but this seemed like the only way I could be happy with someone”
“What’s wrong with him?” he eyed Chris up and down.
“Nothing” I straightened my spine in defense.
“Must be something if you kept him a secret” he shrugged.
I knew what Lorenzo was doing, he was putting doubt in my head. I knew there was nothing wrong with Chris, it just came down to falling for him and my family forcing me to pick between him or them. “It’s not like that.”
“You have to tell Uncle Carmine” it wasn’t a question.
“Lorenzo,” I started shaking my head “I can’t. Not now”
“If you don’t, I will. He would have my head if he knew that I was aware of this”
“Oh god” I felt lightheaded, I felt like was going to throw up.
“Rosalie!” he scolded shaking me.
“Hey!” Chris interjected pushing Lorenzo “You’ll hurt her”
“Touch me again” Lorenzo warned.
“Stop it, please!” I stood between both of them “I’ll tell Dad, just give me time” I looked up at my cousin.
“You have until nine tomorrow morning, then I will”
“Alright” I conceded.
“Let’s go” Lorenzo spun on his heel and started barreling down the sidewalk and like a good little girl; I followed.
“Rosalie, wait!” Chris reached for my hand “I’ll fight for us, I want to be with you, I love you”
“I love you too, Chris. I’ll call you later, ok?” I gave him a sad smile.
“Ok” he sighed and let go of my hand. I followed Lorenzo to his SUV parked on the other side of the street, I silently got in and buckled myself in.
“I’m sorry” was mumbled to the left of me, I just nodded and looked out the window. Fifteen minutes into the silent drive, Lorenzo sighed and pulled over. “Why would you sneak around? And in public! I don’t know if that was smart or dumb” he shook his head.
“Both probably.” I admitted “I thought hiding in plain sight would get me far, I guess it did for the last six months”
“I hate that you’re sad, I’m sorry. It’s just you’re not leaving me much choice here”
“I know,” I finally looked at him “I’m sorry I put you in this position. I’ll tell Dad, I promise” Lorenzo only nodded and started the car again.
When we reached home I went straight to my room. Deciding on a long bath, I got everything I needed ready and slipped into the hot water, the scent of the vanilla bubbles all around me. Closing my eyes I thought of every possible way I could tell my father about Chris and I. I knew he would be upset no matter how I approached the situation, I did hide this from him for six months. I’m so screwed, I thought before dunking my head in the water. When I came back up for air, my mom was sitting on the side of the tub with a smile on her face.
“I can’t remember the last time I sat here while my little girl had a bubble bath. Shall I get the rubber ducky?” she winked chuckling.
“Yes please!” I laughed and flicked water and bubbles at her.
“Dinner is in an hour, I just came up here to let you know” she scooped up bubbles on her finger and swiped it on the tip of my nose.
“What’s wrong?” she tilted her head to the side. I bit my lip with concern. My mom and I are super close but even she would be upset with me keeping a relationship from her for the past six months. Regardless, she was the less scary parent to tell so I summed up the courage and sat straight in the tub.
“Mom, please don’t be upset with me but,” I focused on the bubbles in front of me “I’ve been seeing someone for the last six months”
“Six months, wow” was all she said.
“There’s more” I looked up at her.
“There always is” she quirked a brow.
“Lorenzo saw us today and lost it. Told me I had until tomorrow morning to tell Daddy, If I didn’t he would”
“Hmm” she hummed.
“Say something” I begged.
“What would you like me to say?” she slanted her head to the side.
“Mom!” I whined splashing water at her.
“Ok, ok,” she laughed “I’ll talk to your father” she smiled at me.
“Hmm” she hummed nodding “Do you love him?”
“Yes” I answered shyly.
“Do you trust him?”
“Yes” I nodded.
“Did you do a background check on him?” she raised an eyebrow almost knowing the answer already. I bit my lip and shook my head, no. “Oh, Rosalie” she sighed. She stood on her feet and before she made it to the door she turned and faced me once again “I’ll speak to your father but I make no promises” she gave me a small smile and I knew at that moment I had just put a lot of unnecessary pressure on my mother.
I finally mustered the courage to get out of the tub and get dressed. Throwing on comfy clothes, I threw my hair up in a messy ponytail and trudged downstairs to meet my fate...